Similarly to The Hate U Give after years of politics being addressed mainly in YA dystopian fiction, it is exciting to see a book that reflects the interests of an increasingly politically engaged teenage population.
Troublemakers by Catherine Barter follows Alena, brought up by her brother Danny and his partner Nick. As London is shaken by violent attacks, the past of her mother’s activism gains new interest for Alena. Creating a vibrant portrait of communities and the effects that political decisions can have on individuals and their families, Troublemakers is fresh, thoroughly human story and London centric in all the best ways.
Every now and again, a book comes along that you want to stand on rooftops to shout about. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is one of these books. It is an important book, a vital book, a book that would help society along the evolutionary path, if only everyone would read it.
The main character is Starr who leads two different lives – on an estate where drug dealing and related crimes are part of every day life and in her majority white private school. Having witnessed her unarmed friend Khalil killed by the police officer Starr has to cope with pressures of the investigation as well as the multiple challenges that her family face from the local community.
This is a story about racism in 21st century America, throughout all the layers of society, whether it is institutionalised or more local and reinforced by the media. This is also a young woman's search for her own identity and voice whilst dealing with trauma.
But it is not just in the themes and subject matter that The Hate U G...